It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

New York Times, Thursday, May 2, 2019

Author:
Julie Bérubé
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
36/21/20165/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0110100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.51120
Julie Bérubé

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 42 Missing: {QVXZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Ms. Bérubé. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Julie Bérubé notes:
My original idea for this crossword was to juxtapose opposites in the theme entries – such as the pair that ended up in the ... read more

My original idea for this crossword was to juxtapose opposites in the theme entries – such as the pair that ended up in the crossword, for instance… But the answers were quite long, and in the end, after going back and forth, on and off, with the original idea, I settled on just one pair and made the answers ‘tighter' with rebuses.

I'm glad the editors liked the final idea well enough to make me work at improving the theme answers and the fill, over many, many iterations! I learned to appreciate what editing means for this one, although I had a worrying moment, with a "near puzzle-killer" of a word. I saw no way to remove it without losing the "theme" theme answer… But it was eventually downgraded to "reasonable thing for a cultured person to know." Phew...

Jeff Chen notes:
ON AND OFF hinting at two rebus squares next to each other. Sort of an ON / OFF switch! Sort of. I wish there had been a ... read more

ON AND OFF hinting at two rebus squares next to each other. Sort of an ON / OFF switch!

Sort of.

I wish there had been a sharper a-ha moment, with the revealer slyly giving a rationale for why ON and OFF should be right next to each other. ON AND OFF could have just as easily explained: "phrases that contain one instance of ON and then one of OFF, not necessarily adjacent."

Ooh, here's a clever idea: ON AND OFF so aptly describes a rebus ON in the across direction … which changes into an OFF rebus in the down direction!

(That implementation would have been perfect for ON OFF SWITCH. Writing that down in my notebook of ideas…)

(D'oh! Already been done. Scratching it out...)

Although the revealer wasn't as spot-on as I would have liked, I did enjoy uncovering those dual rebuses in the four phrases. The four great phrases, mind you! CARBON OFFSETS gets a lot of buzz these days, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN feels classic, IMMIGRATION OFFICE solid, and PERSON OF FAITH to round it out. A ton of color from these themers; nice variety.

It was pleasing that two of them broke in the *ON / OFF* pattern, while the other two used *ON / OF / F*. Most solvers probably won't care, or even notice, but I thought it was an elegant touch of symmetry.

It's so hard to work with a big number of rebus squares. Average for a rebus is five or six, so ten is a tough ask. It's even harder when rebus squares have to work with each other. I like what Julie did with OFF TONE – neat solution for a tricky region.

It's also so hard to accept KUNST as a valid entry – talk about deep into foreign languages. But thankfully, there was only some OBJ, AERO, PERI elsewhere. If you can ignore the glaring KUNST, it's a good grid.

I think you could eliminate KUNST (and still have a good grid) by swapping SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and IMMIGRATION OFFICE. But it'd be a complete rework. Probably worth it, though ...

A better rationale for why ON should be next to OFF, and some cleanup in the grid, and this would have gotten POW! attention.

1
O
2
B
3
J
4
A
5
P
6
P
7
S
8
S
9
L
10
A
11
I
12
N
13
L
E
E
14
K
15
B
L
E
U
16
C
A
N
O
E
17
A
L
D
A
18
C
A
R
B
19
ON
OFF
S
E
T
S
20
F
A
I
R
21
S
22
C
I
T
I
23
T
W
A
S
24
L
U
25
G
E
26
L
O
27
I
S
28
S
29
ON
OFF
R
A
N
30
K
E
N
S
T
31
E
32
I
33
N
34
B
E
E
35
B
T
U
36
M
O
N
T
E
37
I
R
A
38
S
39
ON
A
N
40
D
41
OFF
42
P
I
S
A
43
B
U
R
M
44
A
45
S
E
T
46
A
M
P
47
I
M
M
I
G
48
R
49
A
T
I
ON
50
OFF
51
I
C
E
52
L
O
U
T
53
G
E
A
R
54
S
55
A
56
T
E
57
N
O
58
S
H
59
L
A
60
Y
61
U
62
P
63
P
E
R
S
64
ON
OFF
A
I
T
65
H
66
N
O
S
E
67
A
R
I
A
L
68
S
L
O
E
69
I
D
E
A
70
S
O
O
T
Y
71
T
O
N
Y
72
A
R
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0502 ( 25,377 )
Across
1
Kind of case in grammar: Abbr. : OBJ
4
Pandora and others : APPS
8
"Autumn frosts have ___ July": Lewis Carroll : SLAIN
13
Vichyssoise ingredient : LEEK
15
___ cheese : BLEU
16
Summer camp sight : CANOE
17
Famous Alan whose last name shares three of the four letters of ALAN : ALDA
18
Greenhouse gas mitigators : CARBONOFFSETS
20
Events with booths : FAIRS
22
Big Four bank, informally : CITI
23
Contraction at the start of a sentence : TWAS
24
Olympics event since 1964 : LUGE
26
Children's author Lowry : LOIS
28
Third in a horror series : SONOFFRANKENSTEIN
34
Where you might go for a spell? : BEE
35
Abbr. on some natural gas bills : BTU
36
Betting game : MONTE
37
Some S.&L. offerings : IRAS
39
Intermittently : ONANDOFF
42
City west of Florence : PISA
43
___ Railway, backdrop of "The Bridge on the River Kwai" : BURMA
45
Fix, as a price : SET
46
Speaker's place : AMP
47
Administerer of citizenship tests : IMMIGRATIONOFFICE
52
Lummox : LOUT
53
What's packed in a backpack : GEAR
54
Fill : SATE
57
Small bite, say : NOSH
59
Dunk alternative : LAYUP
63
Churchgoer, e.g. : PERSONOFFAITH
66
Frostbite site : NOSE
67
Popular sans-serif font : ARIAL
68
___-eyed : SLOE
69
It can be bounced off someone : IDEA
70
Like chimneys : SOOTY
71
Uptown, so to speak : TONY
72
Notoriously hard thing to define : ART
Down
1
"Frozen" character : OLAF
2
First name in 28-Across : BELA
3
"The Last ___" : JEDI
4
Start of a kindergarten song : ABC
5
One end of an umbilical cord : PLACENTA
6
Prefix with -scope : PERI
7
Hard to get : SUBTLE
8
Say "Yeah, right!," say : SCOFF
9
Conductor's announcement : LASTSTOP
10
Over : ANEW
11
Speck : IOTA
12
Suffix with bald or bold : NESS
14
Co-star of 28-Across : KARLOFF
19
Tearjerker? : ONION
21
Big ___ : SUR
25
Country straddling the Equator : GABON
27
Foundational belief : ISM
28
Lifesaving supply : SERUM
29
Kind of push-up : ONEARM
30
German for 72-Across : KUNST
31
"Giant Brain" of 1946 : ENIAC
32
Answer from behind a door : ITSME
33
Tide type : NEAP
34
Israel's Netanyahu, informally : BIBI
38
Flirts with, in a way : SMILESAT
40
"The Ipcress File" novelist : DEIGHTON
41
Dissonant : OFFTONE
44
Back : AGO
48
Election after an election : RUNOFF
49
Wedding reception cry : ATOAST
50
Variety meat : OFFAL
51
Rial spender : IRANI
54
Springs for a vacation? : SPAS
55
Flying start? : AERO
56
Athos, Porthos and Aramis, e.g. : TRIO
58
It may be next to an elevator : SILO
60
Sci-fi sage : YODA
61
Addict : USER
62
Soil additive : PEAT
64
One's partner : ONLY
65
"Cut that out!" : HEY

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?